Written Answers - European Social Charter

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 730 No. 1

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  106.  Deputy Robert Dowds  Information on Robert Dowds  Zoom on Robert Dowds   asked the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Innovation, concerning  Information on Richard Bruton  Zoom on Richard Bruton   the Revised European Social Charter for each year from 2002 to 2011 inclusive, the date on which the national report by Ireland under the annual reporting procedure was due to have been submitted; the date on which each report was actually submitted; the reasons for any late submissions; and the steps he will take to ensure that no report due while he is Minister is submitted after the due date. [7894/11]

  107.  Deputy Robert Dowds  Information on Robert Dowds  Zoom on Robert Dowds   asked the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Innovation, concerning  Information on Richard Bruton  Zoom on Richard Bruton   the provisions of the Revised European Social Charter, which the State has accepted, the reports in which the State has been found not to be in compliance; for each of these, whether the law, policy or practice that gave rise to the finding of non-compliance has been amended to ensure compliance; and if not, when this will happen. [7895/11]

Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Innovation (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton  Zoom on Richard Bruton  I propose to take Questions Nos. 106 and 107 together.

[164]The Revised European Social Charter of the Council of Europe of 1996 came into force on 1 July 1999. Ireland signed and ratified the Revised Charter on 4 November 2000. The human rights treaty comprises 31 Articles which updates and completes the rights protected in the original European Social Charter of 1961 in areas such as employment, social protection, non-discrimination, education and health.

The specific information that the Deputy has requested in respect of the national reports submitted by Ireland in the years 2002 to 2011 is included at Table 1.

In preparing Reports, my Department has to consult with a number of Government Departments in relation to their areas of substantive responsibility to seek information on any relevant legislative and/or administrative changes that have taken place which impact on our implementation of the Revised Social Charter and, on measures taken, where applicable, to bring the situation into conformity with the Charter. Given the range of issues to be covered and the number of Departments to be consulted, this can be a very time consuming and resource intensive process. Having regard to other pressing demands on scarce resources, my Department expects to complete the Eighth Report, outstanding since October 2010, within the next 6-8 weeks depending on when material is received from Departments and agencies.

At the time of signature and ratification of the Revised Charter, Ireland was in a position to implement almost all of the provisions of the Revised Charter, with the exception of certain elements imposed under Articles 8, 21, 27, and Article 31. In respect of all remaining Articles, and in the context of detailed examination of our national reports over a period of more than 40 years, Ireland has been found to be in non-conformity with a certain number of specific aspects of the provisions of individual Articles of the original and revised Charter. In this regard, in completing its national implementation reports in intervening periods since the issue of finding of non-conformity, Ireland has provided information on the developments, if any, in the intervening period including on measures it has taken to bring a situation into conformity with the Charter and/or explained the reasons for our non-conformity. The specific issues for which we remain in non-conformity are several, wide-ranging and diverse and it would not be possible in this reply to provide the Deputy with the full extent of issues arising and Ireland’s response in each case. I would, however be happy to provide this information to the Deputy separately in follow-up correspondence.

In recognising the importance of the Council of Europe in its standard setting activities through implementation of the obligations that arise across a range of diverse areas under the Articles of the Revised European Social Charter, it must be recognised, of course, that Ireland already has an extensive legal framework in place in the area of protection of employment rights and fully meets its obligations under the requirements of EU legal instruments in this regard and is in compliance also with other international labour instruments, including those of the International Labour Organisation.

Table 1: National Reports submitted by Ireland in the years 2002-2011

Revised European Social Charter (1996) Revised Charter Provisions covered in the Report Date on which the Report was due Date of Final Submission to the Council of Europe
1st Report The core or more important Articles of the Revised Charter, viz. Articles 1, 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 16, 19 and 20. 30th June 2003 Ireland submitted a report in several parts between 19 November 2003 and 29 April 2004.
2nd Report All the non-core provisions of the Charter, which had been accepted by Ireland viz. Articles 2, 3, 4, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14, 15, 17, 18, 21-30a total of 21 Articles in all. 30th June 2004 Ireland submitted its second report under the Revised Charter in a series of instalments between 27 May 2005 and 1 April 2009.
3rd Report An update on our first report on the nine core provisions of the Revised Charter viz. Articles 1, 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 16, 19 and 20. 30th June 2005 Ireland submitted its third report under the Revised Charter in a series of instalments between 15 November 2005 and 25 April 2006.
4th Report The following non-core provisions of the Revised Charter, Article 1, Paragraph 4, Articles 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 15, 21, 22, 24, 26, 28 and 29 30th June 2006 Ireland submitted its fourth report under the Revised Charter on 1 April 2009 (together with our second report).
5th Report The following (both core and non-core) provisions of the Revised Charter — Articles 1, 9, 10, 15, 18, 24 and 25 31st October 2007 Ireland submitted its fifth report under the Revised Charter on 23 May 2009
6th Report The following (both core and non-core) provisions of the Revised Charter — Articles 3, 11, 12, 13, 14, 23 and 30. 31st October 2008 Ireland submitted its sixth report under the Revised Charter on 25 September 2009.
7th Report The following (both core and non-core) provisions of the Revised Charter — Articles 2, 4, 5, 6, 21, 22, 26, 28 and 29. 31st October 2009 Ireland submitted its seventh report under the Revised Charter in a series of instalments between 11 October 2010 and 8 December 2010.
8th Report The following (both core and non-core) provisions of the Revised Charter — Articles 7, 8, 16, 17, 19 and 27 31st October 2010 Ireland has yet to submit its eighth report under the Revised Charter but work is ongoing to complete this report.
9th Report The following (both core and non-core) provisions of the Revised Charter — Articles 1, 9, 10, 15, 18, 20, 24 and 25. 31st October 2011 As above.


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